Irma Ricci Cavanaugh

March 9, 2010

By Contributor

rma Cavanaugh

Irma Ricci Cavanaugh, of Issaquah, died March 1, 2010. She was 89.A memorial Mass was March 3 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Seattle.

Irma was born Dec. 6, 1920, in Chester, Ill., to Joseph and Bessie Branam Buatte. She was raised in the Chester area, where she graduated from Chester High School.

Throughout Irma’s varied career, she was a dance instructor, a real estate agent and a dental assistant, but Irma was most affectionately remembered as the featured aerialist performer “Ricci” in the circus, where she also performed as a contortionist and bareback rider.

On July 29, 1949, Ricci married Arthur “Bud” Cavanaugh in Corpus Christi, Texas. They lived in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Hermosa Beach, Calif.

In her leisure time, Ricci enjoyed creating floral arrangements, cooking, sewing, reading and traveling. She is remembered by her family and friends as a warm, funny and energetic hostess; a creative and talented artist and gardener; and a loving “Nana.”

Survivors include her children, Dan (wife Cathy) Cavanaugh, of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Jill Cavanaugh, of Issaquah; her brother Charles Buatte, of Chester, Ill.; her beloved grandchildren; and numerous extended family and friends.

Irma was preceded in death by her husband Arthur; her sons William Joseph Miget and Charles Michael Miget; parents Joseph and Bessie Buatte; and sister Alberta Buatte Thompson.

The family suggests remembrances to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Arrangements are entrusted to Flintoft’s Funeral Home and Crematory. Call 392-6444.

Friends are invited to view photos and share memories in the family’s online guest book at

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